As Valentine’s Day approaches, curly singles are bound to battle a recurring question: I’m gorgeous, fun-loving and smart, so why am I still single? According to Nancy Slotnick, dating expert, author and founder of Cablight.com, many women send the wrong signal—or no signal at all—to let men know they’re available. After all, you wouldn’t flag down a taxi if the cab light is off. Slotnick coaches women on how to turn their light on to make over their love life. In this interview, she offers advice for the curly girl, reveals the most common dating mistakes and shows how to handle the increasing number of pick-up artists.
- What does it really mean to ‘turn your cablight on’?
- Slotnick: It’s about an inner glow. You have a party going on in your head. Whether you’re wearing your curly hair or your straight hair, you’re still in a certain zone on the inside of what you’re trying to project. Sometimes it’s about faking it until you make it. Making it look like you feel confident, even if you don’t, is where your external choice about appearance comes in. Yet you want to make the inside match as much as you can. One way to do that is to put on music that gets you in the best mood when you’re on your way to a date or when you’re going out to meet men.
- How can women overcome self-consciousness of being curly?
- Slotnick: Don’t straighten your hair just because other people think straight hair is in. If you love your curly hair, you should go with who you are. The right guy is going to respond to that. If you’re trying to be someone you’re not, you’re going to come across phony and the guy will be onto your game.
- Should women approach dating with a checklist?
- Slotnick: I’m not a big believer in checklists. Know what you’re looking for and have three things that are deal-breakers, yet beyond that you should keep an open mind. Meeting the right person doesn’t just come down to a set of criteria on paper, it’s about chemistry and a lot of factors you can’t predict.
- What are the most common mistakes women make in dating?
- Slotnick: Some women are too aggressive and some are too passive. Aggressive types treat it too much like a business, they start interviewing the guy and end up giving him a business card before he even asks for it. He’s not likely to call when you handle it that way. Then there’s the type who stands in the corner talking to her girlfriend all night, thinking if a guy likes her, he’ll just come up to her. She often leaves the bar without meeting anyone.
- So, what’s the best way to approach men?
- Slotnick: Test the waters. Be willing to show vulnerability by checking out a guy with eye contact or a smile. If he responds, do it again. If he doesn’t come over, maybe make it a little easier, like go up to the bar to get a water when you see him get a drink. If it’s still not happening, the woman can have the opening line, but she shouldn’t be driving the boat. Another mistake women make is they jump the gun and don’t give the guy a chance to pursue. Then, both parties are left frustrated.
- How can you use body language to flirt?
- Slotnick: You have to show openness. Standing with your shoulders back and chest out is a very confident stance. Point your body in the direction of the guy you want to meet, and physical proximity matters. Eye contact is important too, not staring, but holding the look a couple of seconds longer than you’re comfortable. You can also touch your hair, shoulders or neck, which is very much a come-hither flirting signal.
- When men use pick-up artist tactics like those found in “The Game” and the follow-up manual, “The Mystery Method,” what’s a single girl to do?
- Slotnick: Clients are coming across this more and more. You don’t want to fall for it, you want to stand up to it. One of the tactics of the Mystery Method is when a guy will try to clock in as many hours with you from the outset just to try to sleep with you. If it’s obvious he’s using these tools, you might say something like, "Did you read ‘The Game?’ Are you trying those tactics on me?" Disarm him by calling attention to his script. Once he’s off script he’s not going to know what to do. Then, you get to the core of who you’re really dealing with.
- What if he tosses you a ‘neg,’ a back-handed negative comment to knock your confidence and supposedly make you want him more?
- Slotnick: If he tosses you a neg, throw him a neg back. You don’t have to walk away and assume he’s a total jerk, but you don’t have to sit there and take it either. A guy can’t be trusted until he proves that he can. Not that you should make it impossible for him to talk to you. You can be friendly, but that doesn’t mean you have to let him get anywhere. You’re trying to find out what kind of man he is. Recognize that there’s a game going on, and you either play the game or you’ll end up getting played.
Calling all curly singles in New York City!
On Valentine’s Day, dating experts Nancy Slotnick and Andrea Syrtash (a self-described “dating dream team”) will offer three minutes of free, personalized dating advice in New York City.Singles can ask the experts their most pressing dating question at the event at Columbus Circle (59th Street and 8th Avenue) in front of the Columbus Circle Fountain from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Manhattan. After dissecting dating dilemmas, the singles will head out to a yet-undisclosed location to crash a party hosted by Neil Strauss, author of “The Game.”“It’s going to be a battle of the sexes,” Slotnick says with a smile.The free event is a precursor to a “Getting Men” six-week seminar in New York, slated for late February, focused on turning your dating life around. Check out www.thedatingdreamteam.com for more information.